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then, though many good things might be achieved, we
should not have eliminated the predicament which was
most crucial—we should merely find it transplanted
into the bosom of the conference itself. That is why
those people were wrong who despaired of the League
of Nations because it failed in the greatest of tests.
Wise men had always given the warning that it could
not cope with the last extremes of crisis; and it was
wrong to forget how many good things it hacf in
fact achieved. Even the organisation of the United
Nations has not proved essentially different in jhis
respect from the case of the League; and though the
problem is transposed somewhat, so that different
nations and different issues now produce the stumbling-
block, the new international order has not in fact
prevented Powers from remaining armed as never before,
and racing one another in the development of the
atomic bomb.

It was once my feeling that if, in a European crisis,
Great Britain pressed for the assembly of a conference,
while Germany rejected that procedure, then Germany
was clearly in the wrong and my own country was
plainly on the side of the angels. Unfortunately it
comes to be boffle in upon one's mind as one studies these
matters that conferences themselves are only too liable
to be the arena for a kind of power politics; and the
greater States, in the very nature of things, hold a
predominance in them which bears some proportion to
their might. It even became evident to me that some-
times it was calculable in advance how the votes would
be distributed if a conference met, since these would be